Memphis Tigers Head Coach Pastner with Goodwin, Black, Thomas and Crawford during the second half of their third round NCAA tournament basketball game in Auburn Hills

Memphis, Oklahoma State set for two year home-and-home series

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With Marcus Smart making the decision to come back for his sophomore season, paired with other key players and a solid recruiting class, Oklahoma State is threatening to be one of the favorites for a Final Four berth next season.

Memphis loses studs like Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas, but return Joe Jackson and bring in a top-flight 2013 haul themselves.

That doesn’t necessarily mean either team will need a tough non-conference schedule. But nonetheless, Oklahoma State and Memphis have signed on to play a two-year home-and-home series, beginning this November.

The first game will be Nov. 19 in Stillwater, with the return game in 2014-15 in Memphis.

Both teams already plays in the Old Spice Classic this season, where they could possibly meet again. Memphis plays the likes of Florida as well.

I’m all for top teams playing one another and not fearing what a loss might do to their tournament resume. Both of these teams have enough firepower to not have to worry about much when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament. It’s one in a long line of great non-conference games we’ll see in the 2013-14 season.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.